Indo-French pair beat their Russian opponents. (Photo Credit: Twitter )
Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza and her partner Caroline Garcia registered a hard-fought win over Russia’s Alla Kudryavtseva and Slovenia’s Katarina Srebotnik to advance to the women’s doubles pre-quarterfinals at the Dubai Open here on Tuesday.
The Indo-French pair beat their Russian opponents 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 in the first round match.
The Sania-Garcia combine will now meet the fifth seeded duo of Saisai Zheng of China and Barbora Krejcikova of Czech Republic in the round of 16.
In a dream start to her second innings after a two-year break, Sania Mirza lifted the WTA Hobart International trophy with partner Nadiia Kichenok after edging out Shaui Peng and Shuai Zhang in the final in Hobart in last month. The unseeded Indo-Ukrainian pair pipped the second seed Chinese team 6-4 6-4 in one hour 21 minutes. Playing her first tournament after giving birth to son Izhaan, the 33-year-old Sania has begun well in the Olympic year as she warmed up for the Australian Open in style.
It was Sania's 42nd WTA doubles title and first since Brisbane International trophy in 2007 with American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Sania did not compete on the WTA circuit in the entire 2018 and 2019 seasons to start a family with Pakistani cricketer husband Shoaib Malik.
The 33-year-old Sania was returned to action at the Dubai Open after recovering from a calf injury which had cut short her campaign at the Australian Open in January. Sania’s first Grand Slam outing after a two-year maternity leave had ended with an early exit when the Indian ace retired mid-way during her doubles first-round match because of a right calf injury.